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Spiritual Communion in Celebration of Saint Francis -

feast day tomorrow, October 4th

Francis was born in Assisi in central Italy either in 1181 or the following year.

He was baptised Giovanni, but given the name Francesco by his father,

a cloth merchant who traded in France and had married a French wife.

There was an expectation that he would eventually take over his father's

business but Francis had a rebellious youth and a difficult relationship with his


After suffering the ignominy of imprisonment following capture whilst at war

with the local city of Perugia, he returned a changed man. He took to caring

for the poor, particularly those suffering from leprosy. Whilst praying in the

semi-derelict church of St Damian, he distinctly heard the words:

"Go and repair my church, which you see is falling down."

Others joined him and he prepared a simple, gospel-based Rule for them

all to live by. As the Order grew, it witnessed to Christ through preaching

the gospel of repentance, emphasising the poverty of Christ as an example

for his followers. Two years before his death, his life being so closely linked

with that of his crucified Saviour, he received the Stigmata, the marks of

the wounds of Christ, on his body. By the time of his death, on the evening

of 3rd October, 1226, his Order had already spread throughout western


✠In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Peace and Goodwill be always with you.

Saint Francis, in his writings, implores us to:

“… consider the Good Shepherd

who, to save His sheep, bore the suffering of the Cross.

The sheep followed Him in tribulation and persecution and shame,

in hunger and thirst, in infirmity and temptations and in all other ways.”

When we have failed to listen to the voice of The Shepherd,

let us confess our sins in penitence and faith:

I confess to almighty God

that I have greatly sinned,

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done and in what I have failed to do,

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,

all the Angels and Saints,

to pray for me to the Lord our God.

May almighty God have mercy on us, ✠ forgive us our sins,

and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you, we bless you,

we adore you, we glorify you,

we give you thanks for your great glory,

Lord God, heavenly King,

O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us;

you take away the sins of the world,

receive our prayer;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.


O God, by whose gift Saint Francis

was conformed to Christ in poverty and humility,

grant that, by walking in Francis’ footsteps, we may follow your Son,

and, through joyful charity, come to be united with you.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever..

FIRST READING - Galatians 6:14-18

Brothers and sisters: May I never boast except

in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,

through which the world has been crucified to me,

and I to the world.

For neither does circumcision mean anything,

nor does uncircumcision, but only a new creation.

Peace and mercy be to all who follow this rule

and to the Israel of God.

From now on, let no one make troubles for me;

for I bear the marks of Jesus on my body.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit,

brothers and sisters. Amen.


You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;

I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”

O LORD, my allotted portion and cup,

you it is who hold fast my lot.

You are my inheritance, O Lord.

I bless the LORD who counsels me; even in the night my heart exhorts me.

I set the LORD ever before me; with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed. You are my inheritance, O Lord

You will show me the path to life, fullness of joys in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever. You are my inheritance, O Lord.


Alleluia, alleluia!

Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,

you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.


GOSPEL - Matthew 11:25-30

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew.

✠ Glory to you, O Lord.

At that time Jesus exclaimed,

"I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,

for although you have hidden these things

from the wise and the learned

you have revealed them to little ones.

Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.

All things have been handed over to me by my Father.

No one knows the Son except the Father,

and no one knows the Father except the Son

and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.

"Come to me, all you who labour and are burdened,

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me,

for I am meek and humble of heart;

and you will find rest for your selves.

For my yoke is easy, and my burden light."

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


In the words of the Prayer of Saint Francis,

we share our hopes with God, remembering the needy,

and praying for all that God has created.

After each petition of the prayer of St Francis;

make time for quiet prayer.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Where there is injury, let there be pardon.

Where there is discord, let there be union.

Where there is doubt, let there be faith.

Where there is despair, let there be hope.

Where there is darkness, let there be light.

Where there is sadness, let there be joy.

We pray for peace in the world,

for those who are casualties of war;

for unity and harmony amongst peoples of the world

and in the Church;

St Francis, pray for us.

We pray for those who have lost faith in God and in themselves;

we remember those whose lives are desperately difficult;

and we pray that sadness may be turned to joy.

St Francis, pray for us.

Forgive us for the harm we cause your earth,

the heat and drought unleashed by climate change;

the damage we cause, through human thoughtlessness

or through cruel intention.

St Francis, pray for us.

Blessed Francis, you praised God ceaselessly for the wonder

of animal creation. May we learn from your example,

and value and protect all that God has made.

St Francis, pray for us.

Creator God we praise your world

and look with awe on all that is.

May we commit to heal the earth

and share your gifts in faith and trust.

St Francis, pray for us.

Brother Francis, in purity of heart

you gazed upon the world with love.

We ask you joyfully to intercede for us,

As guardians of our common home.

St Francis, pray for us.

Brother Francis, in purity of heart

you gazed upon the world with love.

We ask you joyfully to intercede for us,

As guardians of our common home.

St Francis, pray for us.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much

seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved, as to love;

for it is in giving that we receive,

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

It is our joy to give you thanks, always and everywhere,

our Creator and Redeemer, God of love and holiness.

In your image you made us all,

your universe you put into our care;

your creation you entrust to our hands,

with all its wonders and its travail.

You make us partners in your labours

and invite us to share in your peace.

We give you thanks that you so loved the world,

that you gave your only Son,

that everyone who has faith in him

may not die but have eternal life.

Therefore, with all your people in heaven and on earth

we sing the triumphant hymn of your glory

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

Hosanna in the highest.

At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come,

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.

Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin

and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.


“Behold I stand at the door and knock;

if any one hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” Apocalypse 3

“In God alone my soul in stillness waits;

from him comes my salvation.

He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken.” Psalm 61 (62)

“Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.”Matthew 11.28

In union, Lord, with the faithful at every altar of your Church

where Mass is now being offered this day,

and remembering the community of Holy Trinity, Winchester;

I long to give you praise and thanksgiving for creation

and all the blessings of this life,

for the redemption won for us by your life, death, and resurrection,

for the means of grace and the hope of glory.

I present to you my body and soul as a living sacrifice,

with the earnest wish that I may always be united with you.

And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I pray that you will come spiritually into my heart.

I unite myself to you,

and embrace you with all the strength of my soul

and the life you have given me.

Let nothing ever separate me from you.

May I live and die in your love. Amen.

O God, you ever delight to reveal yourself

to the child-like and lowly of heart:

grant that, following the example of the blessèd Francis,

we may count the wisdom of this world as foolishness

and know only Jesus Christ and him crucified, who is alive and reigns

with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

The Franciscan Blessing

May God bless you with a restless discomfort about easy answers,

half-truths and superficial relationships,

so that you may seek truth boldly and love deep within your heart.

May God bless you with holy anger at injustice, oppression,

and exploitation of people, so that you may tirelessly work for justice,

freedom, and peace among all people.

May God bless you with the gift of tears to shed with those who suffer

from pain, rejection, starvation, or the loss of all that they cherish,

so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them

and transform their pain into joy.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you

really CAN make a difference in this world,

so that you are able, with God's grace,

to do what others claim cannot be done.

And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be upon you this day, and remain with you always. Amen.


The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.

And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us. Hail Mary. Holy Mary.

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,

that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ

by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion

we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;

through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.

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